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Chef Benson Ole Soit

With inspired dishes like Maasai Giraffe, Swiss roll, and Wilderness Rocky Road cake, Basecamp Explorer Executive Chef Benson Ole Soit has become renowned for his outstanding culinary skills. His high standards have set a new paradigm within the basecamp kitchen. A self-taught chef, Benson’s story is an inspiring one of someone who fought against all odds to follow his passion of becoming a professional chef.

Benson grew up at Koyiaki sub-location in Narok county. Just after completing his primary school studies, his life took a turn. He was unable to pursue further studies; and to make matters worse, his father then became ill. He secured a job as a guard from Basecamp Wilderness Camp. For the two years that he worked as a guard, he knew he needed to change his destiny and make things better for himself and his family.

In 2008, he took the role of a kitchen steward. This was an interesting ordeal, seeing as it was not common for Maasai men to do kitchen duties. Nevertheless, he grabbed the opportunity, and that is when he fell in love with cooking.

His enthusiasm was endless. During his free time, he would read through a cookbook titled “Kitchen Stories” that he carried around the camp. He also fought with his peers to change the TV channel from football channels to cooking channels. This was not an easy job, so he saved enough money to buy a tablet so that he could have access to learning from the big chefs around the world.

Benson has learned how to cook through experimentation. He has also incorporated a variety of food techniques by picking up some tips here and there from cookbooks and from watching cooking shows on youtube.

His interest in food gave him the opportunity to travel to Europe for an exchange program, courtesy of the Basecamp Spitsbergen Family. He visited Italy and Switzerland, worked with Michelin 5-star chefs, and learned more about food and wine pairing.

In 2017, Ben Decided to write a cookbook so as to share his passion for cooking and inspire others through his recipes. The proceeds from the cookbook will go towards educating a passionate, young chef. A scholarship of up to  US$ 2,500 will be given to a young man or woman who has a passion for cooking but cannot afford the school fees to pursue an education in the culinary arts. The funds will be utilized during an 18-month cooking course at the Karen Blixen Cooking School in Maasai Mara. Once the student graduates, Basecamp will give them a chance to work under the mentorship of Benson, who will nurture them to be qualified chefs.

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